Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Morning Star, December 20, 2015, pg. 3
A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to my readers of this column. May you have good memories of this holiday season and remember that Albion is always home, no matter where you may now live across the country. I’d like to take the time to thank everyone who helped with this column by supplying me with information, photographs and other materials over this past year. These items have helped in keeping this column going.
Albion has always been a musical city. In my local studies I’ve seen numerous photographs of Albion bands, orchestras, musicians, and other music-related items which are found all throughout our history. Of course we all know that two "famous" songs were written here. There have also been other songs written here that didn’t become famous, but were performed locally and copies of their sheet music still exist today.
One such piece is a Christmas carol with an Albion flavor. It is entitled "Everywhere, Everywhere, Christmas Tonight." It actually was an already-established carol with the words penned by Philipps Brooks and musical score by Lewis Henry Redner. You can listen to some choirs sing this original version on You-Tube if you’d like.
However, long-time Albion College School of Music director and professor/piano teacher Louis Upton Rowland (1883-1983) wrote his own musical score for this carol in December, 1939. It was dedicated to Mrs. George Dean, and subtitled "A Carol for Haven Hills." Haven Hills of course was the land and dairy farm owned and operated by the late George Emory Dean (1872-1932) and his wife Belle (Clark) Dean (1874-1961) on the south side of Haven Road across from Victory Park. Their home was the elegant Bellemont Manor, still standing today as part of Albion College.
The Deans were very hospitable and held gatherings and events on their farm and residence. The beauty of the winter snow and scenery helped make winter gatherings there memorable events. With that as a backdrop, professor Rowland introduced this new tune to the carol, written in the key of E flat, in three-quarters time. There are five verses.
From our Historical Notebook this week as we celebrate Christmas, we present this carol to you, our readers. How many of our readers remember Dr. Rowland and remember hearing this Christmas carol with Professor Rowland’s musical score performed before?
Everywhere, Everywhere, Christmas Tonight: Christmas carol with Professor Rowland’s musical score
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All text copyright, 2016 © all rights reserved Frank Passic